All of alexanderwales's Comments + Replies

I think part of it is that EY writes for fun, rather than solely with some direct aim in mind, and he really likes stomping on landmines. (And who can blame him? Stomping on landmines is fun!) The fic includes a fair number of things that his average audience member dislikes, but which is there because he likes it, and would likely be unable to write as much if he kept restricting himself. There's a reason that there's a significant word count devoted to anime references, and I believe it's mostly related to what produces hedons for him.

I'm not saying he should remove the anime references, although they do go straight over my head. I'm saying that getting rid of the legalised rape would involve cutting one or two sentences - a tiny amount of the story which probably generates a hugely disproportionate amount of criticism.

For what its worth, when I write fiction, I just write whatever inspire me, and then go back over it later and remove the bits which no-one else will get.

The kid part of him with Hermione, Luna, and Draco; the adult part of him with Bellatrix?
No-one in their right mind would bet against that.

That is probably what Eliezer was referring to as the epilogue stomping all over everything.

I want canon Harry/Hermione/Draco/Luna. :<

But the betrothal has to have occurred before it was mentioned.
Ah, there we go. I must've missed that one. Perils of not double-checking, I suppose (though in my defense, the subreddit has a heck of a lot of threads right now, so that one might have been buried under a lot of other threads).

It was an excuse to have two characters talk about the plot - doesn't seem like there was anything more to it.

Above is the Doyalist reason, and almost certainly the root reason. The Watsonian reason was that it would force Voldemort to waste an hour in the preparation, making any attempt to steal the Stone take an hour longer. As traps go, it's reasonably clever. The potion did serve its in-story purpose of banishing the flames blocking the doorway, after all, so it's not like Voldemort spent that time on the potion and then used his wand to take care of the flames.

The solution was actually posted to reddit after chapter 112, before there was a final exam at all.

The big problem is that he left Harry his wand. If he uses more precautions against Harry, but still keeps leaving Harry his wand, then that makes the fact that he left Harry his wand less realistic, not more. So I actually think that you should go the other way with it - have him be less paranoid about Harry. Because otherwise you're making the inconsistency even worse. He's being cautious and paranoid enough to strip Harry's clothes from him, but leaves the wand in Harry's hand for one moment longer than he has to? It makes more sense if he has the Death Eaters throw a bunch of Finites at him to check for residual traps left by Dumbledore, and for that to be where he sees most of the threat coming from.

This. Voldemort's not only being paranoid enough to strip Harry's clothes from him, he's being careful and cautious enough to remove an object Harry Transfigured without letting their magics interact. That kind of attitude is jarringly inconsistent with leaving Harry his wand for no apparent reason. Luke_A_Somers already suggested [] adding a reason for Harry to have his wand. I think that adding such a reason combined with changes that increase our estimate of Voldemort's estimate of P(Time will try to thwart Voldemort's attempt to avert the prophecy through something other than Harry | Time will try to thwart Voldemort's attempt to avert the prophecy) would make things seem much more consistent; leaving Harry his clothes and having some (not necessarily most) of the Death Eaters looking outwards would both help with the latter. The reason I suggest increasing readers' estimates of Voldemort's estimate of P(Time will try to thwart Voldemort's attempt to avert the prophecy through something other than Harry | Time will try to thwart Voldemort's attempt to avert the prophecy) rather than just making Voldemort less paranoid overall in this situation is to avoid worsening the Villain Ball complaints; shifting his paranoia partly elsewhere allows him to be the sharp antagonist we're expecting while suggesting that he's confident the precautions he takes are sufficient to neutralize Harry as a threat (which allows Harry to win). That confidence isn't out of place for his character - even though he's read Muggle books, it's entirely plausible that he hasn't integrated that knowledge well enough to start questioning what he knows as the limits of magic (and thereby come to think of partial Transfiguration, or more generally realize that Harry might question those limits and succeed in discovering something he can wordlessly cast without pointing his wand). The particular changes I

Planning thread over at /r/HPMOR for centralized discussion. It's probably better to have segregated groups working on this, but I don't really think that'll be a problem.

It's still a matter of limiting the mileage. Even if there is no formalized and ready-to-fire response (one that hasn't been written in the heat of the moment), there's always an option not to engage. Which is what I said last time he engaged, and before he engaged this time (and also after the fact). If you engage, you get stuff like this post to /r/SubredditDrama, and comments about thin skin that not even Yudkowsky really disagrees with.

It doesn't take hindsight (or even that much knowledge of human psychology and/or public relations) to see that making... (read more)

I didn't posit there is no point to damage control. I'm saying that in certain cases, people are criticized equally no matter what they do. If someone chooses not to engage, they are hiding something. If they engage, they are giving the inquisitor what he wants. If they jest about their mistake, they are not remorseful. If they are somber, they are taking it too seriously and making things worse. I read your links and...yikes...this new round of responses is pretty bad. I guess part of me feels bad for EY. It was a mistake. He's human. The internet is ruthless...

It's not a matter of "winning" or "not winning". The phrase "damage control" was coined for a reason - it's not about reversing the damage, it's about making sure that the damage gets handled properly.

So seen through that lens, the question is whether EY is doing a good or bad job of controlling the damage. I personally think that having a page on Less Wrong that explains (and defangs) the Basilisk, along with his reaction to it and why that reaction was wrong (and all done with no jargon or big words for when it gets linked f... (read more)

I am defining winning as damage control. EY has been trying to control the damage, and in that pursuit, I'm starting to wonder if damage control, to the extent it could be considered successful by many people, is even possible. He's a public figure + He made a mistake = People are going to try and get mileage out of this, no matter how he handles it. That's very predictable. Further, it's very easy to come along after the fact and say, "he should have done this and all the bad press could have been avoided!" A page on LW might work. Or it might be more fodder for critics. If there were an easy answer to how to win via damage control, then in wouldn't be quite as tricky as it always seems to be.

"Damn the consequences" seems like an odd thing to say on a website that's noted for its embrace of utilitarianism.

The expression "Damn the consequences" is generally, and in this case, a hyperbole. The consequences being dismissed are those the speaker considers worthy of dismissal in the face of the consequences that truly matter. A non-figurative version of my comment would be that in the case at hand, putting the actual facts out, as clearly and forthrightly as possible, is the most important thing to do, and concern with supposed reputational damage from saying what is right and ignoring what is irrelevant would be not merely wasted motion, but actively harmful. But then, I'll excuse quite a lot of arrogance, in someone who has something to be arrogant about.

This seems like it would work a lot better as a computer program, where the crossword cube can be rotated by the user to see the different fields. Otherwise a 7 x 7 x 7 seems like it would be too large for a newspaper, where real estate is limited (not to mention the difficulty in doing the "depth" part of the crossword). Making it virtual (either a standalone app, web app, steam game) solves most of the potential problems.

Well, here is a low-tech version of a user interface. Printed (3D) crossword. Or at least printable. Perhaps it would do for some. [] The virtual spaces could be also somewhat filled with them, yes.

Thanks for the recommendation - those always make me happy. :)

I really liked it. I think it's one of the best pieces of fiction I've ever read, I genuinely feel that strongly about it. Can't wait for whatever you write next.

I think the big problem is the "filing the serial numbers off" part of it. I never read "Masters of the Universe", but it seems to me that it didn't actually involve all that much in the way of vampires or werewolves. Whereas if you had a fic about time traveling robots, a human resistance from the future, and UFAI, it would be really hard to get people to believe that it wasn't Terminator. Or if you had a story about a superhero who works as a reporter and his evil genius nemesis, people are going to see that it's Superman unless you f... (read more)

Is there anywhere that I can read it? It sounds mildly entertaining.

It is, and it's spot on.
You can read it on Will_Newsome's page, and the 17 comments are still there, but there's no way to add comments.